Working with partners: what’s it all about?

LEARNING: What does working in partnership mean for Oxfam and the vulnerable people we seek to help? Audrey Lejeune, Programme Learning Adviser and Yo Winder, Global Partnerships and Accountability Adviser, introduce a series of learning papers on working with partners. You probably know that Oxfam works with others to fight poverty and inequality around the world. But who are these …

Container based sanitation could solve the world’s toilet problems

LEARNING: Oxfam recently hosted its first International Toilet Summit, where participants were challenged to think big about one of the world’s biggest sanitation challenges: how to get a toilet into every household which currently lacks one. Container based sanitation could well be the solution as Brian McSorley, WASH Coordinator, explains. Our first ever toilet summit was organised jointly with Sanergy, …

Resilience is someone – I met her in South Sudan

ON THE GROUND REFLECTION: Definitions of resilience should come from the people we are here to support, rather than our own assumptions. Elizabeth White, Policy Adviser in South Sudan, reminds leaders and humanitarians at the World Humanitarian Summit of the faces behind the words and numbers, and just how much we can, and must, learn from them. ‘Resilience’ has been …

European countries need to return to humanitarian principles

ON THE GROUND REFLECTION:  As world leaders and humanitarian actors meet in Istanbul for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit European countries need to look at themselves and step up to uphold human rights in the migration crisis argues Claire Seaward, Humanitarian Campaign Manager. From an interview with Catherine Meredith. What needs are you seeing on the ground in Europe? …

Syria and climate change: did the media get it right?

OPINION: Syria, migration and climate change will all be key issues at the World Humanitarian Summit this week, but are they interrelated, and how? Alex Randall, from the Climate and Migration Coalition, explains why media portrayal of climate driven migration as a source of conflict is both damaging and inaccurate. The crisis in Syria is now in its fifth year. …

Partnering with IKEA Foundation and local communities for effective emergency response

NEWS: As world leaders and NGOs meet for the World Humanitarian Summit the importance of local organisations in responding to disasters is high on the agenda. Here Alex Lankester, Head of Corporate Partnerships, explains how Oxfam is taking its humanitarian work with local partners to a new stage, in collaboration with the IKEA Foundation. With the global humanitarian system close …

The cash bargain: travelling between aspirations and possibilities

OPINION: The World Humanitarian Summit process has shown that when consensus is needed to formulate commitments among States, there are still a lot to be done to change perceptions regarding the value of cash transfer programming and the role it should play in humanitarian assistance.  Paula Gil Baizan, CaLP’s Advocacy Coordinator, takes us through cash transfer programmes should be higher …

Can a radio series change attitudes and norms on violence against women?

LEARNING: Imagine you could just broadcast an entertaining radio soap opera, starring everyone’s favourite celebrities, and listeners would change their attitudes and perceptions of norms about violence against women for the better. Sounds too good to be true? We recently tried to find out as Caroline Hodges, Impact and Knowledge Specialist, explains. Edutainment combines media entertainment with educational messages and …

How did we do? Using technology to gather humanitarian feedback

NEWS: Often the most valuable beneficiary feedback is given informally and face to face. That’s why Oxfam is exploring new ways of helping staff to digitally record comments received as they go about their work as Emily Tomkys, ICT in Programme Officer, reports.  A study into complaints related to humanitarian interventions by Baños Smith in 2009 revealed that ‘All participants …

Improving sanitation in Kenya: toilets have become an obsession

ON THE GROUND REFLECTION: In Kenya a child dies every 17 minutes of a preventable disease caused by diarrhoea. Brian McSorley, WASH Coordinator, is passionate about providing clean water and sanitation, here he explains what this involves in Oxfam’s Kenya programme. I spend a lot of my time looking into toilets. Some people have suggested toilets have become an obsession …